xt7jm61bp48v https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jm61bp48v/data/mets.xml The Kentucky Kernel Kentucky -- Lexington The Kentucky Kernel 1977-03-02 Earlier Titles: Idea of University of Kentucky, The State College Cadet newspapers  English   Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. The Kentucky Kernel  The Kentucky Kernel, March 02, 1977 text The Kentucky Kernel, March 02, 1977 1977 1977-03-02 2020 true xt7jm61bp48v section xt7jm61bp48v Vol. LXVIII. Number ”9 K

Wednesday, March 2, 1977



an independent student newspaper



Even the mighty get demoted to the floor oc-
casionally. .lim Doss of the PPD removed the

L .
Off the wall


—Gill KIQM

portrait of our leader to do some painting in
Kastle llall yesterday.


MAR 2 L 1977

University of Kentucky


University 0] Kentucky
Lexington. Kentucky

The 'Roots' man

Haley bears color-blind message

Kernel Sta ff Writer

Heritage is what matters—not the
color of a person's skin. it is that
information about one's family that
gives a person roots, a sense of
belonging and security.

Those were the sentiments I heard
Alex Haley expound last night to an
overflow crowd at Memorial Hall.
Several hundred people were turned
away, and speakers were set up in
the Commerce Building to transmit
Haley‘s message to those that had to
be content to listen without seeing

I listened with special interest, not
only as one fascinated by American
history, but also as a descendent of
John Waller, owner of the slave
Kunta Kinte—Haley’s African an-

“The Wailers were one of the true
blood Southern families at that time,
(of l8thcentury plantation
ow'nersi,“ Haley said in a press
conference an hour before his ad-

From books on my family history,
I have leamed that John Waller
came to America from an
established family in England. They
moved to Endfield plantation in
King William County, Virginia,
which later became Spotsylvania

At some time during his years at
Endfield, Waller purchased Kunta
Kinte. The slave was a continual
trial to Waller. escaping four times
from the plantation.

Because he was a recidivist of-
fender. Kinte was punished by
professional slave hunters after his
fourth escape attempt. They cut off







-Steve Schuler

Alex llaley. author of ”Roots." related his search for his
family's history to an overflow crowd in Memorial Hall.
Several hundred people were turned away.

half d his foot as an example to
other escape-minded slaves.

Turning point for Kinte

It was probably that incident
which sustained Kinte’s fierce pride
in tis heritage, Haley said. He
realized he could never escape, but
he did not have to relinquish his
individuality and history. He passed
the story of his heritage to his
daughter, Kizzy, and she to her
children, and so on to each

Gurney Norman’s ’trip’ brings him

Kernel Reporter

At 39, some people think life is
starting to die, but that's not true for
Gurney Norman. His trip of life is
just beginning and whata beginning.

Norman, who looks like he would
be more at home hiking or fishing
than in a classroom, is a visiting
professor in the English department
for the spring semester. The
Whitesburg, Ky., native-turned
California resident and author of
Divine Right‘s Trip, is teaching
creative writing, in which he
stresses “storytelling as a healing

“Stories are myths passed on from
generation to generation" that set
the norms for society. according to

When one finds the story that he’s
always believed in. to be untrue to it
would cause him to become “lost


from the myth" or insane, Norman

When the American Indiars were
told their way of living was wrong
and crazy by the white man, some
became ltst from the myth. But the
elders retold their myths to restore
the sanity, an example of
storytelling being a healing art,
Norman explained.

“Our Story Thus Far"

“The sane person’s story is order
from chaos,” he said. This is the
story of Divine Right's Trip, which
first appeared in The Last Whole
Earth Catalogue, edited by Norman
and Stuart Brand, close friend and
driving force of the Catalogue.

The story, since printed in
paperback, is subtitled “Our Story
Thus Far.” Divine Right Davenport,
Kentudry-born, is a young man who
has traveled far down the road of his
generation, encountering the hip

culture of California.

His “trip" brings him, and his
love, Estelle, back to the scene of his
childhood, Eastern Kentucky.

It sounds similar to the story of its
author, who went from Kentucky to
Stanford University in Palo Alto,
Calif., on a creative writing
fellowship, but is it

“Only in the spiritual sense,”
replied the author. “My writing is

Norman, a 1959 UK graduate and
former Kernel columnist, terms trip
as a “quest to be whole,” a never-
ceasing process to know oneself and
his world “I am not at the end of my
qust, not nearly,” Norman said.


Na'man speaks of the Christian
themes that run through his works
as “unconscious at first but now
they're somewhat deliberate.”

Chapters of Divine Right‘s Trip‘

are titled “Salvation,” and “fisher
of men.” ”The Beast of the Sea” is
straight from the Book of

Norman, who once described his
badtgmund as “acid-Baptist,” says
he’s religious “in spite of the
church” and believes “God is the
way things happen and the way
things happen is God.”

Currently involved in folklore,
Norman has recorded his own jack
tale titled “Ancient Greek.” A jack
tale, he explained, is an old story
passed on by word-of-mouth, sort of
a country minstrel tale.

Also soon to be published is
"Kinfolks," a collection of others’
jack tales.

- “Reading the old stories, listening
to them, are gets a glimpse into the
minds of earlier people, whose lives
were incredibly difficult, but who
managed. sanehow, not only to

survive, but to thrive, as an in-
dividual and in community.” he

Norman has a back-to—thebasics
philosophy thatleads him to crusade
against strip mining. He feels that
all the judicial proceedings to halt
strip mining “didn’t mean a damn

“Strip mining is madness.”
Norman said he can't understand
why people destroy thier land. “No
other species destroys where they
live, only humans shit in the nest."

Former Kentuckian editor

Norman, his straight, shoulder-
length hair continually falling in his
face, views the world as a “great
dying bird." By hard work and self-
examina tim, he says, this bird could
produce an egg that holds a healthy
relationdrip to the world. At least
that’s what he hopes for.

As editor of the 1958 Kentuckisn,

Haley recalled sitting on his
grandmother‘s porch, “after sup
per, after the dishes were washed,"
when his aunts—Lizzy, Piney and
others~would come to visit. “They
would all sit on the porch in cane-
bottom rocking chairs, rocking
away, talking in bits, pieces and
patches about their family history.

“As a little boy Ldidn’t un-
derstand. They talked about 01'
Masser. i didn‘t know what 01‘
Masser was. They would talk about

('ontinued on back page


Norman supports the idea of a
Gredr-initiated yearbook because
Greeks have the energy and
motivation to do it, but only “if it’s
not limited to the Greek point of

In 1973, Norman returned to
Whitesburg where the Appalshop
was to do a feature film of Divine
night's Trip. Financial backing
came up short at the time, but
Norman still has hope that a movie
will someday be made of his novel.

Naman frequently travek to
Kentucky for what he calls “per-
sonal nourishment,” a place where
he can be creative. He describes
Kentucky as his “spiritual home"
but he and his wife Chloe now live in
Menlo Park, Calif.

California, he says, is an entirely
different place where everything is
new. “i relate to that which is new,
innovative and fresh." But Norman
loves Kentucky, and he’ll be back.




UK received 3733.000 less from federal agencies
during the 1976 fiscal year than in the previous
year. acca'ding to the National Science Foun-
datim. The foundation also reported that UK
received slightly more than $21 million in federal
funds last year. the 52nd highest recipient of federal


Columbia Gas of Kentucky and Louisville Gas
and Electric Co. lifted natural gas curtailments
yesterday on small commercial and industrial
cushmers. The curtailment had been in effect

throughout February. However, natural gas sup
pliers are expected to order additional curtailments
April 1, when the spring season begins. “We’re
facing a continuing natural gas shortage," Deputy
Energy Commissioner John Stapleton said.

Atty. Gen. Robert Stephens amounced yesterday
his office has launched an investigation of this
winter's enery shortage to determine whether it
was contrived. He said incidental questions of
pricing, inconsistent delivery of supplies and
related matters also would be addressed. "Our
office has no pro—conceived ideas or opinions as to
what it will find," he said. “i don‘t know how it's
gong to come out—it may be that everything is


The National (‘enter for Disease Control. asked
frequently to investigate mysterious ailments
throughout the world, began yesterday to try to
solve the mystery of a disease that killed two of its
own employes. George Flowers, 49, who delivered

scientific supplies throughout the building died

Sunday and Robert Dubingon, 43, a retired military
man who worked in the maintenance department,
died early yesterday. Both men worked in the
Iabu-atory building where virus diseases are
studied. They were stricken last Wednesday, with
identi-Isymptoms. by what appeared to be a viral
infection. the (‘DC said.

A spokesman for President Jimmy Carter said
the United States would do “whatever is
necessary" to emure the safety of Americans in
Uganda. Ugandan President Idi Amin had charged
5,000 Marines were poised to invade Uganda and
said he was ready to repel any “task force."


Increasing cloudhies today. high in the low 50's.
Cloudy with a chance of rain late tonuht, but not as
col with a low near 40. Tomorrow will bring oc-
casional liyit rain. The high tomorrow should be
near 60.

(‘ompiled from Associated Press and National
Weather Bureau dbpstehes






Copy '20-. Who We:
Sum-u- nun-u Phil Rutledge
‘ Dick Ila-m
Steve Rollin." (‘Ilel Mop-u
blah, Strum Stewart Btu/man

Gina Inward:


editorials 8: comments . iii-“Jag;

Ali-tel tumult."


Sports Editor
Nancy Duly

Advertising Hanan r
.lm Kemp

Ale: Keto


Editorials do not represent the opinions of the University

Woueummumummhtm. IM- little-nah- Id“.




Your trash can help

The Enviromental Action Society ’s decision to
begin a new recycling drive on campus is a
breath of fresh air in an area that seems to
generate less and less concern among students

Most UK students were probably not even
aware that such a group was in existence. Un-
fortunately, that's part of the problem.

EAS President Steve Mayes cites the
discontinuity of the semester system as the main
reason the group has been unable to keep any
sustained recycling drive in operation. That’s
one obstacle the group will just have to live with.

But the other problems facing EAS can be
eased or even solved with a little help from
students, the Physical Plant Division and Macke
Vending Service.

Surely the PPD can spare more than one
receptacle a week to aid in the group‘s recycling
efforts. Placed in the right locations and


properly marked, additional cans might in-
crease the volume of recylclable material.
Profits could then be used to purchase additional
collection containers and to publicize the group’s

Macke Vending Company should be even more
cooperative. With the UK market regularly
contributing to Macke’s business, it should be
more than willing to aid a student group con-
cerned about the reuse of the containers they

The only other problem facing EAS is student
support (or Ia ck of it). The purpose is to promote
ecology, a cause that gained most of its initial
support from students in the 60‘s.

That‘s not to say we need 22,000 Woodsy Owls
hooting around the campus. All it takes is enough
students willing to save their old newspapers and
throw them in a recycling can.

It was worth $27

Ah. Student Government in action. SG
President Mike McLaughlin has lowered his veto
boom on another “radical” student group
requesting SG funds.

And for what group, you ask? UK Students for
Nazism ‘.’ Sophomores for Communist takeover?
Charles Manson for President Committee?
Nothing that mild, we’re sorry to say. Believe it
or not. it was the campus organizers of In-
ternational Women’s Day.

That a’ boy, Mike. We hear they’re going to
have a celebration right here on campus next
week. It’s so refreshing to see you use your
power. After all, we all know how harmful
discussions about feminism, socialism, the Rape
Crisis Center and abortion could be to the

Sarcasm aside, the $27 the group requested
really wouldn’t put that much of a dent in the
35'000...l§fl in the SG budget. McLaughlin ap-



parent] y thinks SG was in error When it voted to
give the money to them in the first place.

Unfortunately, if one examines the situation
it's clear who made the error. McLaughlin did.
The same SG constitution which gave him the
power to veto the bill explains in its preamble
why he shouldn’t have done it.

In as many words, it says 86 should work to
combat racism and sexism. Since McLaughlin
obviously missed the point the first time around,
we’d like point out now that International
Women’s Day is designed to do just that.

Instead of attacking the program as “petty”
and not applicable to student needs, McLaughlin
should have willingly donated the money the
group requested along with a strong symbolic

Save the vetoes for those groups who have
nothing to offer to students. International
Women‘s Day deserved SG support.



By (ibilt'l‘liUlWI EZORSK Y
New York Times New Service

Should universities be compelled
to remedy sex discrimination by
setting numerical hiring goals for
women faculty members? Oppon-
ents of these goals, required by the
Department of Health, Education
and Welfare, insist on tagging them
as “quotas." Why?

Historically, a quota system—so
labeled—was used to restrict fair
selection in favor of prejudice.
( “How many Jews can we tolerate
in our university?”) Those who






At a recent Student Government
(SG) meeting Hal Haering, speaking
for the present SG Administration
made a statement that most UK
students will find objectionable. He
qiposed funding for this year’s
International Women’s Day Cele-
lration (March 5) because “both
sides are not represented.”

For over 60 years this day has
been set aside for women to cele-
lrate their victories like voting

rights, the Equal Rights Amend-
ment, or abortion rights. It is a day
d unity and strength, for women to
stare ideas on surviving and being
creative in a world that defines their
success in terms of their subser-
viance to men.

And Haering has the gall to insist
that opponents of women’s rights be
trought in to speak at International
Women’s Day. He knows that such a
debate would be disruptive and
would run counter to the purposes of
International Women’s Day. But

there’s nothing the SG administra-
tion would like better.

It’s very clear what side they’re
on: Haering pointed to what he
considers a recent SG mistake: “We
helped publicize a forum against
racism. and didn’t even have the
other side."

Surely we need a student govern-
ment that will take a clear stand on
the same side as the majority of
students. That is, against racism
and for the rights of women. _

Dave Ferguson
Young Socialist Alliance

insist that today’s hiring goals be
called “quotas” imply that the
goals, like yesterday‘s quotas, work
against impartiality. But that claim
is false. HEW-approved goals for
women instructors serve not to
restrict but to extend impartiality.
Women who by a merit standard
deserve faculty appointments will
no longer be excluded by sex bias.

H.E.W. goals for women instruct-
ors specify the approximate number
of women who would, in general, be
hired by imparial sex-blind select-
ion. Suppose, for example, that
although one in five biology Ph.D.’s
are women, a major university‘s
biology department is composed—
instructor and up—of 25 men and no
women. (Such incredible disparity
between the ratio of women as
trained Ph.D.’s and as faculty is
quite common in major univer-
sities.) Since one in five biology
Ph.D.’s are women, a goal accept-
able to H.E.W. for this biology
department would read: one woman
among the next five instructors

Thus. hiring goals are set to

hiring goals
to prevent

approximate an impartial, bias-free
result. Hence, while yesterday's
quotas served bias. No amount of
“quota" baiting by those skilled in
the craft of propaganda can destroy

,that radical difference of moral


Sidney Hook. a critic of hiring
goals for women faculty, offers an
alternative: “Why not drop.I.sex...
bars in honest quest for the best-
qualified" candidate? Such advice
has all the practical value of
suggesting that sin disappear.
Where the best candidate competing
for a faculty appointment is a
woman she has two handicaps.
First, there is the fact, by now
overwhelmingly confirmed, of pre-
judice against women’s intellect.
Studies have shown that in all
disciplines, the same work, ap-
praised by both men and women,
was always rated lower when attri~
hated to a woman. Second, acade-
mics can cover up individual cases
of sex discrimination more easily
than other em ployers.

Who is the best pitcher for a
professional baseball team? Simple
arithmetic tells a large part of that
story. Hence, prejudice is more
easily discernible. Who is the best
candidate for a philosophy instruct—
orship? Not so easy. Judgments
about the quality of a person's
scholarship may differ widely and
no mechanical resolution is possible.
Where purely objective rules of
selection are absent, a sex-biased
choice is more easily rationalized.

It is significant that since the
advent of anti-bias regulations sex
discrimination has disappeared in
an area where it is not easily hidden:
Salary inequities between men and
women instructors at the beginning
of their academic careers have now
beenwiped out.


It is true that intervention by
Government bureaucrats and more
paperwork do not enhance the
quality of life (although academic
women may feel that extra paper-
work is a small price to pay for
decades of in justice).

Most of us prefer to think that left
on our own we make objective
choices. But what is the likelihood
that any of us could have been so
lucky—morally speaking—as to es-
cape the mark of social prejudice?
Hiring goals serve as a check on the
workings of such prejudice, and by
voluntarily acceding to that check
we free ourselves from culpability.

Universities are now excused by
the Department of Health. Educa-
tion and Welfare from meeting their
goals if they can show what the
Labor Department calls “good
faith“ efforts to find qualified wom-
en (advertising jobs, contacting
women‘s professional groups, invit-
ing women to apply, etc.) Opponents
of goals claim that such “good faith"
efforts should suffice to end univer-
sity sex discrimination. But their
claim is challenged by recent re-
ports, from affirmative-action spe-
cialists, of “good faith“ efforts that
are a sham. (A department, for
example. first selects the man it
wants for the job, then pretends to
search for candidates. i Such reports
are corroborated by studies showing
that women are running a close
second to blacks in having the
highest unemployment rate among
1974 and I975 doctoral recipients.

It is not the hiring goals, but the
“good faith“ efforts. that need
critical scrutiny.


Gertrude Ezorsky is professor of
philosophy at the ('ity l'niverisit)‘ of
New York [Brookly (‘ollege and the
Graduate School I.

Carter’s call-in caper approaches Showmanship



from Washington


If you ask me (nobody has) I think President
Carter‘s first-of-its-kind. twohour radio call-in this
Saturday i March 5 i is a poor idea.

You can call in from any part of the country, as I
understand it. and if you aren‘t screened out by the
staff you may find yourself talking to Jimmy. It will
last from 2 to 4 pm. EST according to tentative plans
(which may be changed) and what you say and what
Jimmy says will be broadcast. and Walter Cronkhite
will moderate.

The purpose is plain. The President doesn’t want to
kse the common touch. He is so eager to keep it that
In carries his travel bag. takes the oath as “Jimmy”,
walks from the Capitol, sends Amy to public school.
Everyone who has written about the presidency knows
and notes how the office isolates the man.

Nobody has struggled harder in modern times to
break through the barrier than this president. and his
success to date has been brilliant. Word from the
omntry is that the public loves Carter‘s blue-jean
simplicity. A month after he took office his popularity

Somewhere or other, however. there is a line
between informality and Showmanship, and I think the
call-in caper is perilously close to the line. Maybe I am
wrong. Maybe we stand at the beginning of a new era
where we can dial-a-president at will. But for the
fdlowing reasons I think the first interesting
experiment may be the last,

—One of the greatest powers a president has is to
command free broadcasting time. Granted that the
Saturday call-in show is for radio alone. the principle
is the same. It is an attribute of the “imperial
presidency.“ To dilute this kind of a presidency he is
using one of its prerequsites.

Presidential critics. political rivals, have no such
privilege. Save at elections (and not fully then) they
(an air their views only by buying radio-TV
newspaper space. Ironically, Mr. Carter complained
of this phenomenon in the last election when Jerry
Ford. merely because he was president, got media
time that candidate Carter couldn’t command.

—The President has adequate means for keeping in
touch with the country. He can send messages to
Congress or appear in person at grave moments. He
has a big entourage to give out statements. He has had
a session with press association representatives
asking him questions, and he has given a fireside chat.
Itis hard to pick up the paper without finding a Carter
comment. A presidential call-in lends itself to ridicule.

—I suppose I am prejudiced but I think the formal
White House press conference is the best means the
American government has evolved for twoway
contact between president and public: the press.
respectful but probing; the President, nimble but
newsworthy. It is an admirable adversary relation-
ship with the press acting as surrogate of the public.

Franklin Roosevelt had two press conferences a
week; it is good that Mr. Carter has pledged himself to
two-amonth—and held the second this week. I hope he
can keep this up when the going gets tough as it
certainly will. That will be the real test of Carter

—Call-in questions in the nature of things have to be
screened: it is no use saying they aren‘t “planted;“

there will be editorial control somewhere in deciding
which queries get through.

—Finally, the Carter Administration runs some
danger of boring the folks. It has been fun so far;
nobody has seen anything like it. We have a unique
system of electing a president and then finding out
afterwards what we’ve got. Jimmy Carter is the
strangest president of modern times, a peanut farmer
whois “twice born.” and also a nuclear engineer and
ex-submarine officer.

, Most presidents learn to husband their appearances
and not to trivialize them: the mystique of the office is
important; it helps to govern a nation, it should not be
avoided as “imperial;" it does not spring from the
ambition of a man. but from the grandeur of the job.

Like a film from a self-developing camera the
Carter image is taking shape before our eyes. from a
blur to a man. Let‘s hope it's not over-exposed.

Reporters watched a couple of good shows last
week: Paul Warnke being hazed by conservatives on
the Senate Armed Services committee, and Canadian
Prime Minster Trudeau before the joint session of
Congress. As for Warnke, a right-wing organization
bought full-page advertisments the day he appeared.
soliciting contributions up to 31.000 to help block his
appointment as arms negotiator. The confrontation
occurred in one of those big Senate waxed-wood-panel
hearing rooms.

If Warnke can deal with the Russians the way he
dealt with senators Jackson, Tower and Stennis—
patient, firm, deferential but not brow-beaten—we
have an ideal negotiator.

He is a white-haired, strong-faced figure who
slouched behind a table while senators asked
questions from their horseshoe above. The place
dauled with lights and was jampacked. Yes, he said
without apology, he had opposed various new families

of nuclear weapons as they were proposed. urging in
each case that the Russians be first asked if they
would make concessions. That, he said mildly. was
how we got SALT l agreements in 1972.

The Soviets were then allowed more strategic
offensive ballistic missile-launchers than the US;
this was offset by the US. technological lead which
included multi-headed MIRVS. This is what successful
negotiation means, he explained calmly. As Sen.
Jackson tried to trip him up Warnke poured a glass of
icewater and did not raise his vote. Rarely do we see a
witness with such aplomb.

0n the same day that Warnke appeared, Congress.
in joint session, had its first look at Prime Minster
Trudeau, who is threatened by the separatiOnist drive
of French-speaking Quebec.

The Quebec Premier Rene Levesque was down in
New York last month trying to reassure US. bankers
and investors. Accompanied by about 80 Canadian
reporters Trudeau came to Washington to make what.
ineffect. was a political reply.

The essence of the traditional U.S. relationship to
Canada is to trade, trust and take forgranted. For
Canada it is an infuriating big~brother attitude. But
that 3.000-mile unfortified border is one of the few
really good things in a sorry world.

Clad in gray business suit with a jaunty rosebud in
his lapel. Trudeau in a quiet, modulated voice ”with
all the certainty I can command that Canada‘s unity
will not be fractured.“ Maybe it‘s unfair to the
Quebecoises (Trudeau called them Quebeckers) but
everybody here hopes he‘s right. The friendly
applause was not noisy but it went on and on and on.


Tltll from Washington. a national column syndicated
by the New Republic. is written by 18-year-old
Richard Lee Strout. Tltll appears weekly.





t by

‘ for

n so
) es-
d by
I by
n it
s to


' of
y of

g in


sf uI
5 of
2c a


I in

. to

I in





No room for another baby

By JANE nor:

New York Times

News Service

We were sitting in a bar on
Lexington Avenue when I told
my husband I was pregnant.
It is not a memory I like to
dwell on. Instead of the
champagne and hope which
had heralded the impending
births of our first, second and
third child, the news of this



one was greeted with shocked
silence and Scotch. “Jesus,"
my husband kept saying to
himself, stirring the ice cubes
around and around. “Oh,

Oh, how we tried to ration-
alize it that night as the
starting time for the movie
came and went. My husband
talked about his plans for a
career change in the next
year, to stem the staleness
that fourteen years with the
same investment-banking
firm had brought him. A new
baby would “preclude that

The timing wasn‘t right for
me either. Having juggled
pregnancies and childcare
with what freelance jobs I
could fit in between feedings.
Ihad just taken on a full-time
job. Anew baby would be put
fightback in the nursery just
when our youngest child was
finally school age. It was time
for us, we tried to rationalize.
There just wasn't room in our
lives now for another baby.
We both agreed. And agreed

How ever considerate they
are at the Women's Services.
known formally as the Center
for Reproductive and Sexual
Health. Yes, indeed. I could
Imve an abortion that very
Saturday morning and be out
intime to drive to the country
that afternoon. Bring a first
morning urine specimen. a
sanitary belt and napkins. a
money order or $125 cash-and

My friend turned out to be
my husband, standing awk-


wardly and ill at ease as men
always do in places that are
exclusively for women, as I
checked in at 9 am. Other
men hovered around just as
anxiously, knowing they had
to be there, wishing they
weren’t. No one spoke to each
other. When I would be cycled
out of there four hours later,
the same men would be
slumped in their same seats,
locked downcast in their cells

The Saturday morning
women‘s group was more
dispirited than the men in tr e
waiting room. There were
around is of us, a mixture of
races, ages and backgrounds.
Three didn‘t speak English at
all and a fourth, a pregnant
Puerto Rican girl around 18.
translated for them.

There were six black wom-
en, and a hodgepodge of
whites, among them a tee-
shirted teenager who kept
leaving the room to throw up
and a puzzled middle—aged
woman from Queens with
three grown children.

“W hat form of birth control
were you using?“ the volun-
teer asked each one of us. The
answer was inevitably
“none.“ She then went on to
describe the various forms of
birth control available at the
clinic, and offered them to

’ each of us.

We had been there two
hours by that time. filling out
endless forms. giving blood
and urine, receiving lectures.
But unlike any other group of
women I‘ve been in, we didn't
talk. Our common denomi-
nator, the one which usually
floods across language and
economic barriers into fami-
liarity. today was one of
shame. We were losing life
that day. not giving’it.

I began to panic. Suddenly
the rhetoric, the abortion
marches I‘d walked in, the
telegrams sent to Albany to
counteract the Friends of the
Fetus. the Zero Population
Growth buttons I‘d worn,
peeled away, and I was all

alone with my microscopic
baby. There were just the two
of us there and soon, because
it was more convenient for
me and my husband, there
would be one again.

How could it be that I, who
am so neurotic about life that
I step over bugs rather than
on them, who spends hours
planting flowers and veget-
ables in the spring even
though we rent out the house
and never see them, who
makes sure the children are
vaccinated and inoculated
and filled with Vitamin C,
could so arbitrarily decide
that this life shouldn't be?

“It's not a life." my hus-
band had argued, more to
convince himself than me.
"It‘s a bunch of cells smaller
than myfingernail. "

But any woman who has
had children knows that cer-
tain feeling in her. taut,
swollen breasts, and the
slight but constant ache in her
uterus that signals the arrival
of a life. Though I would
march myself into blisters for
a woman‘s right to exercise
the option of motherhood, I
discovered there in the wait-
ing room that I was not the
modern woman I thought,l

When my name was called,
my body felt so heavy the
nurse had to help me into the
examination room. I waited
for my husband to burst
through the door and yell
“stop," but of course .he
didn‘t. I concentrated on
three black spots in the
acoustic ceiling until they
grew in size to the shape of
saucers, while the doctor
swvabbed my insides with

"You're going to feel a

buming sensation now," he

said. injecting Novocain into

‘the'rteck of the womb. The

pain was swift and severe and
I twisted to get away from
him. He was hurting my
baby, I reasoned. and the
black saucers quivered in the
air. “Stop,“ I cried. “Please

stop.” He shook his head,
busy with his equipment.
“It‘s too late to stop now," he
said. “It‘ll just take a few
more seconds."

What good sports we wom-
en are. And how obedient.
PhysiCaIIy the pain passed
even before the hum of the
machine signaled that the
vacuuming of my uterus was
completed, my baby sucked
up like ashes after a cocktail
party. “Ten minutes start to
finish. And I was back on the
arm of the nurse.

Finally then, it was time for
me t